June 25, 2017

“The Hobbit” Is Still Incredible After 75 Years

The HobbitBy Julie Samrick

In a letter to his nephew Frodo, hobbit Bilbo Baggins sits down on his 111th birthday to tell of the greatest adventure he ever had (also setting up the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy in this film adaptation of The Hobbit). 60 years before, Bilbo’s ordinary, comfortable way of life was jarred once he reluctantly joined the wizard Gandalf and thirteen colorful dwarves on a quest to help them get back what rightfully belonged to them. 

 

In true odyssey form, The Hobbit’s different chapters leave the protagonists encountering one difficulty after another on their trek across Middle-earth, bringing to mind other classic, odyssey adventures like The Wizard of Oz or The Neverending Story.  

 

To see Tolkien’s story come to life by Peter Jackson on the big screen is nothing short of art.  From the narration, music, acting, visuals, and smart dialogue everything is perfectly thought through.  Kids will hear words like “necromancer” and be teased with brainy riddles. Because of this, I didn’t mind the violence, which wasn’t as bad as expected.

 

There are violent moments in The Hobbit, but except for one scene at the end, they are not gratuitous and they are few and far between. For that one scene it would be easy to shield children’s eyes.  Leave kids under 9 at home, though, as they may be scared from the trolls, Gollum, and general fast pace.

 

The different encounters the group of friends endures are amazing to see.  From the giant eagles swooping down to carry them to safety to the wall of mountains that turn into transformer-like creatures whose fighting sets off perilous avalanches, there is nothing lazy about this film and why I didn’t even notice the film is nearly 3 hours- it whizzed by.

 

The producers changed or embellished parts of the 1937 book by J.R.R. Tolkien a bit for the movie adaptation, but the essence of the original story, which centers on main character Bilbo Baggins’s personal growth from simple homebody to confident adventurer, is the same. Bilbo remains the heart of the story- witnessing his good natured, hobbit, ways and how he grows stronger, but never sells out on his values, is still as current a theme as ever and the reason The Hobbit has been a beloved story for 75 years.

 

A credentialed teacher, Julie Samrick is now a stay-at-home mother of four kids and the founder of Kid Focused.

 

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 The Hobbit PG-13

Running Time: 2 hours, 49 minutes

4/4 stars

 

 

 

 

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